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TAG Line November 13, 2020

Three Black Hawk helicopters operated by Soldiers of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment, prepare to leave the Army Aviation Support Facility, Bismarck, N.D., at dawn on Nov. 12, 2020. The Soldiers were headed for the National Capital Region for a nine-month mobilization.

Aviation Soldiers Leave for Mission

Around 70 Soldiers of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment, departed Bismarck, N.D., en route to their nine-month mission in the National Capital Region (NCR) on Nov. 12, 2020. Some Soldiers drove their private vehicles while others traveled by UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from N.D. National Guard's Army Aviation Support Facility in Bismarck, N.D. (National Guard photos and story by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Highland, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Black Hawk crews and passengers walk to their aircraft at the Army Aviation Support Facility on Nov. 12, 2020.

Black Hawk helicopters are prepared for flight in the pre-dawn hours of Nov. 12, 2020 at the N.D. National Guard's Army Aviation Support Facility in Bismarck, N.D.

Three Black Hawk helicopters operated by Soldiers of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment, hover while waiting for departure clearance at the Army Aviation Support Facility, Bismarck, N.D., on Nov. 12, 2020.

Lt. Col. Mike Green conducts pre-flight checks before takeoff. Green, commander 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment, piloted one of the UH-60 Black Hawks headed for duty in the National Capital Region on Nov. 12, 2020.

Three Black Hawk helicopters operated by Soldiers of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment, prepare to leave the Army Aviation Support Facility, Bismarck, N.D., on Nov. 12, 2020.

Pilots Chief Warrant Officer 3 Brent Freese, right, and Warrant Officer 1 Tami Abrahamson conduct pre-flight checks on their UH-60 Black Hawk at the Army Aviation Support Facility on Nov. 12, 2020.
Maj. Josh Yri assists flight operations as aircraft operated by Company C, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment prepare to depart the N.D. National Guard's Army Aviation Support Facility in Bismarck, N.D. on Nov. 12, 2020.

119th Wing hosts Exercise Sunbird-Fury

The North Dakota Air National Guard completed hosting its largest MQ-9 exercise in unit history upon the departure of Arizona Air National Guard’s 214th Attack Group (ATKG) personnel aboard a 145th Airlift Wing, North Carolina Air National Guard C-17 on Nov. 10, 2020. (U.S. Air National Guard story and photos by Chief Master Sgt. David H. Lipp)

Joint Exercise Sunbird-Fury involved the dynamic force employment (DFE) of approximately 30 personnel, equipment and an MQ-9 aircraft from the Arizona Air National Guard’s 214th ATKG based at Davis-Monthan AFB and Libby Army Airfield, Fort Huachuca, Ariz., to the North Dakota Air National Guard 119th Launch and Recovery Element (LRE) from Oct. 19 through Nov. 10. DFE is the ability to pick up an MQ-9 unit and move it quickly to operate in another location.

Photo Right - 119th Logistics Readiness Squadron members team up with C-17 loadmasters to unload 214th Attack Group equipment in preparation for Exercise Sunbird Fury at the N.D. Air National Guard Base, Fargo, N.D., Oct. 20, 2020. The dynamic force employment (DFE) of equipment demonstrates the ability for an MQ-9 unit to pick up and move to another location to operate.

The 214th ATKG accomplished live-fly, joint-integration sorties with the 178th Attack Squadron (ATKS), at the 119th LRE, along with nearly daily B-1 Bomber integration sorties generated from Ellsworth AFB, SD, as well as approximately 40 joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) ground force personnel.

The JTAC Airmen practiced communicating from the ground with Sunbird-Fury aircraft aircrew members during the exercise to hone their wartime tasking skills related to close air support (CAS) operations. They are often embedded with U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corp forces in forward operating areas, and work to neutralize enemy targets in coordination with the CAS aircraft.

Photo Left - Tactical air control party (TACP) Airmen from the 116th Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS) and the 14th ASOS, look at an electronic communication device during Exercise Sunbird Fury in Tiger Military Operating Area (MOA), near Camp Grafton South, N.D., Oct. 27, 2020. The Airmen are training with aircraft communications for close air support (CAS) during exercise scenarios simulating their wartime tasking.

Remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) crew members were able to pilot exercise aircraft from the 119th LRE, as well as Air National Guard bases in other parts of the United States, during the exercise. Important training objectives were achieved for personnel in each of the participating organizations of the exercise.

Photo Right - An Arizona Air National Guard MQ-9 aircraft is parked next to a 119th Wing MQ-9 aircraft for Exercise Sunbird Fury on the flight line at the North Dakota Air National Guard Base, Fargo, N.D., Nov. 5, 2020.

Staying in Touch

Pens donated by the Dakota Woodturners were presented to Soldiers of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment who left Thursday for duty in the National Capital Region (NCR). While communication technology has advanced beyond writing letters on paper, these beautiful wooden pens symbolically represent the tools necessary for communicating with family and friends during deployments.

The first sergeant of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment, 1st Sgt. Mitch McCoy, reads a statement from the Dakota Woodturners explaining the purpose of the handcrafted pens and proclaiming their support and commitment to the military. The donated pens were issued during the unit's Soldier Readiness Processing (SRP) at the Raymond J. Bohn armory on Nov. 10, 2020.

Hand-crafted wooden pens donated by the Dakota Woodturners wait on a nearby table as 1st Sgt. Mitch McCoy explains how the pens will be presented on Nov. 10, 2020.

Soldiers of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment, stand in formation while unit leaders present hand-crafted wooden pens donated by the Dakota Woodturners on Nov. 10, 2020, at the Raymond J. Bohn armory in Bismark, N.D.

Exceptionalism Recognized

Sgt. Maj. Eric Binstock, Senior Enlisted leader for the N.D. National Guard, awarded coins to Senior Master Sgt. Shane Amundson, 119th Wing Inspector General office, and Staff Sgt. Benjamin Nelson, 119th Security Forces Squadron at Fargo Airbase on Nov. 9, 2020. These non-commissioned officers were recognized for exceptional achievements and professionalism displayed in the daily execution of their duties.

Left: Senior Master Sgt. Shane Amundson receives a coin from Sgt. Maj. Eric Binstock, Senior Enlisted leader for the N.D. National Guard on Nov. 9, 2020. Right: Binstock presents a coin to Staff Sgt. Benjamin Nelson on Nov. 9, 2020.

COVID-19 Support Mission Continues

The N.D. National Guard continues to support COVID-19 testing and other tasks in the fight to contain the virus using the whole-of-government approach. On Nov. 11, 2020, the N.D. Guard members administered COVID-19 tests at the Dactotah Speedway in Mandan, N.D. (U.S. Army National Guard story and photos by Sgt. 1st Class Brett Miller, 116th Public Affairs Detachment/Released)

Col. Brian Keller, N.D. Army National Guard's State Medical Detachment, is reflected in a rear-view truck mirror as he administers a COVID-19 test at Dactotah Speedway in Mandan, N.D. on Nov. 11, 2020. The mission is a part of the N.D. National Guard’s continued support to the state and local communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pfc. Savon Flansburg, left, 816th Military Police Company, and 1st Lt. Jordan Freitag, 818th Engineer Company, work as data collectors at the COVID-19 mobile testing site at Dactotah Speedway in Mandan, N.D. on Nov. 11, 2020.

Celebrating Veterans Day

Local Bismarck Veterans groups sponsored a Veterans Day ceremony at the All Veterans Memorial on the N.D. state capitol grounds on Nov. 11, 2020. This annual ceremony that is normally conducted indoors at the nearby Heritage Center, was moved outdoors due to COVID-19 concerns. (National Guard photos and story by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Highland, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Community members assemble for a Veterans Day Ceremony held at the All Veterans Memorial on the N.D. capitol grounds in Bismarck, N.D., on Nov. 11, 2020.

Veterans Day ceremony began with the Pledge of Allegiance on the All Veterans Memorial at the N.D. capitol grounds in Bismarck, Nov 11.

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, center, stands between Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford, left, and retired N.D. Guardsman Col. Jon Hanson, at the Veterans Day ceremony on the N.D. state capitol grounds on Nov. 11, 2020.

Members of the Bismarck AMVETS (American Veterans) Post 9 and Bismarck VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Post 1326 fire a rifle volley saluting deceased military members. Doug Webber, AMVETS, center, stands by to perform taps after the volley was completed.

N.D. National Guard retired Col. Vern Fetch, AMVETS, rings a bell symbolizing the anniversary of Armistice day at the All Veterans Memorial on N.D. state capitol grounds in Bismarck, N.D., on Nov 11.

Veterans Day at the Capitol

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